Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Mika Jolie’s character on July 30th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of recently meeting Linda L. Picl, the author of Solitary Dreamer, and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Carrie Lawson, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Linda in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Carrie Lawson!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Carrie. Please have a seat.
Carrie Lawson: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Marie: We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?
Character Carrie: Sure.
Marie: So, Carrie, what is your occupation?
Carrie: My occupation is being an accountant/secretary at Bring It Up Plumbing Company.
Are you any good at it?
Carrie: I am very good at it, I guess.
Do you like it?
Carrie: No, not at all, but you have to bring in cash somehow and my boss is a honey.
Marie: Oh, okay. Great! So, what is your family like?
Carrie: The only way to answer that is with a big word…dysfunctional.
Marie: Hmm. Sounds familiar. What did your childhood home look like?
Carrie: Like a trashy single wide trailer.
Marie: Do you have any hobbies?
Carrie: Yep…writing and drawing and I’d love to garden, but don’t have any space where I live now.
What do you enjoy doing?
Carrie: Well, when I get anytime away from work, I love to write children’s stories.
Marie: Wow. What is your greatest dream, Carrie?
Carrie: To publish a children’s book about wishes.
Marie: That’s awesome!
So, what kind of person do you wish you could be?
Carrie: I wish I could stand up to my mother…just once.
What is stopping you?
Carrie: Her; she’s very high strung and just plain mean.
Marie: So sorry to hear that. Sometimes those closest to us have more power to hurt us than others.
I’m going to throw another random question at you now. Who was your first love?
Carrie: I haven’t had one in my first 25 years of life yet.
Marie: I think I was expecting a different answer based on the book, but readers, you’ll just have to wait until you get your hands on it. I can’t wait to read it!
So, Carrie, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Carrie: I was molested by my step-dad. Not something I have ever told anyone until now.
Marie: Oh, no! That’s horrible. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’m glad you felt you could tell me about it though. Well, before I really put my foot in my mouth, let’s move on to something a bit lighter.
What was your dream growing up?
Carrie: Getting out of this town.
Did you achieve that dream?
Carrie: Not yet.
If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Carrie: I can’t leave, my job and my Grandma Grady is here; I can’t leave her in the nursing home with no one else around.
Marie: I understand. That’s a big responsibility.
So, who is your role model?
Carrie: Grandma. She wrote cookbooks when I was growing up. She’s very sophisticated; she’s the one who told me to be a writer.
Marie: Well, good! Carrie, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question…Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Carrie: Yep, my husband Bub…but he came through for me when I really needed someone.
Marie: What is your deepest desire?
Carrie: To be married to a wonderful man, have lots of kids and write.
Marie: I am on board with that dream! So, what is your greatest fear?
Carrie: That my deepest desires will never happen. That I’ll be stuck in this mundane life forever.
Marie: I certainly understand that fear. When things seem bad, I often have to tell myself that there is a time and place for everything. I know your moment will come.
Well, thank you for visiting us today, Carrie. I wish you so much happiness. (Waves goodbye to Carrie.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have Linda L. Picl on the stage today. Hi, Linda!
Author Linda L. Picl: Hello.
We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Carrie. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Linda: Yes, thanks for having me today. Carrie has lived a stressful life. Her mom is a functioning drunk and so was her real father who left her at an early age. But as an adult she is now married to a man who stepped forward and took her in off the streets while she was just a teenager.
Marie: Oh, wow! What are your character’s greatest strengths?
Linda: Despite her early obstacles she is a respected member of the town, holds a job and helps out with her aging grandmother who she loves very much.
Marie: What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?
Linda: Her weakness is her inability to stand up for herself and go after her dreams.
Marie: What are some of her favorite foods?
Linda: Oh, she loves salads and fries.
Marie: (Laughs.) Oh, quite an interesting combination!
Marie: What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Courage. She has it, but hasn’t recognized it yet. She needed it to grow up where she did.
Marie: That makes sense. Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
I hope they’ll like her sense of humor and loyalty.
Well, now that we have a real taste of Carrie Lawson, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
Marie: What first gave you the idea for Solitary Dreamer?
I guess the reason I came up with that is because there was a time in my life I was exactly like her. I had a lot of time alone. We lived an hour away from civilization. I was an empty nester and my husband worked crazy hours. I couldn’t find a job so I had many empty hours on my computer and when I typed the title on the page. It just sounded like something I wanted to write.
Marie: Wow, that’s great!
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
A plotter. I have to have an idea where I’m going when I write.
Marie: So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Solitary Dreamer or getting it published?
Yes, I did when I first submitted Solitary Dreamer. The first three publishers that accepted it went out of business as soon as we started editing the book. I thought the book was cursed…(Laughs.)
What would you do differently the next time?
Only submit to reliable companies, like the one I am with now, Beau Coup Publishing.
Marie: I hear ya on that one! It’s hard to find the right publisher. That’s why I rely heavily on P&E.
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog. And how apropos is that, considering what a great love story Solitary Dreamer appears to be. Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Linda L. Picl, a rising star!
Here is the blurb for Solitary Dreamer:
Everyone felt sorry for Carrie Lawson. She was a sweet woman who had nothing but a deadbeat husband and a dream of a writing career. Happiness was something she had to fight for but when she met Logan Franks, a local firefighter, her love life became a whole lot warmer until her very existence was almost snuffed out by a person she thought she’d never see again.
Logan Franks is hot, and not just in looks. Being a volunteer firefighter doesn’t just mean being on a calendar or turning girls on…it’s dangerous work. Sometimes you have to go in and save everyone, sometimes even your worst enemy. But Logan is above all that; he will save everyone he can.
He and Carrie will fight for a life together, no matter what, even if the chances are high it will all blow up in their faces.
Amazon Kindle U.S.: http://www.amazon.com/Solitary-Dreamer-Linda-L-Picl-ebook/dp/B00MT6A9HM/
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00MT6A9HM
About Linda L. Picl:
Linda L. Picl was born in 1955 and got her love of reading from spending time in a tiny library under a police station in a small town in Illinois. That tiny room opened up a new world of books. From there she went on to work at many of the libraries in suburbs all around Chicago, then on to Indiana. Thinking it was an easy process she went on to write. Finding out it was harder than it looked, she still went on to produce her first book Next Time Love Comes and then Solitary Dreamer, and there are more to follow.
Linda is the mother of three grown children and lives in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI with her husband and mini-poodle.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Linda L. Picl, here are some of her author links:
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Carrie Lawson, the female main character of Solitary Dreamer, and Linda L. Picl, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so fun to have you here! 🙂